Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Packing Healthy Lunches

Life is really busy sometimes, isn't it? We tend to rush through our day, and we just do not have the time to stop and eat a healthy lunch. In those cases, we grab something from the fast food restaurants or we get something from the work cafeteria that may not be what we need to help with our weight loss journey. Those foods can be packed with sodium, cholesterol, excess fat, and sugar. And the portion sizes they give could feed you for a few days!!

How in the world do you handle lunchtime with this new lifestyle you are living??

You can start by packing your own lunch! It saves you time and money, you get what you want in the portions that are correct, and you know what is going in your food! Here are some tips to help you with this task:

1) Start planning your lunches for the week early. Make sure that healthy choices are in the refrigerator and pantry. If you need to make extra purchases, then do so! You can add this task to your weekly preparation time. This makes you more relaxed and focused on making the best meals for yourself.

2) Use a colorful lunchbag, a cooler bag with the ice packs, or something to help make preparing your lunch fun! I have a blue cooler bag and a red cooler bag that I alternate to give me some enjoyment in the preparation task.

3) Ensure that you pack a protein, a healthy carbohydrate, a beverage, and fruit for dessert (if you wish). This way, you are getting the correct balance of nutrients that you need to power through your afternoon. Proteins like chicken, fish, turkey, tofu, or beans are great choices for lunches. Healthy carbs include vegetables that have been lightly steamed, or a nice salad with light dressing. Excellent beverage choices include water with a splash of fruit juice or tea, and any type of fresh fruit is a great dessert option. You can review Michi's Ladder in the "Diet and Nutrition" tab of your Beachbody dashboard for more ideas. Oh, and leftovers make EXCELLENT lunches!!

Here are some sample meals that I enjoy taking to lunch with me:
  • Turkey wrap on whole wheat tortilla with lettuce, roasted red peppers, sundried tomatoes, and cucumbers with dijon mustard, broccoli slaw, water
  • Black bean soup, spinach salad with carrots, celery, mushrooms, and light dressing, hot tea
  • Grilled salmon filet, steamed kale, corn on the cob, peach green tea, granny smith apple
  • Baked chicken with Mrs. Dash seasoning (southwest chipotle flavor), brown rice, green beans, water with lime juice, strawberries
The possibilities are ENDLESS!

So consider preparing your lunch this week - you may be surprised at what you can create!!

I hope this helps, and remember, I am cheering for YOU!

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